An independent clause that refers to a hypothetical situation contingent on another set of circumstance.

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Is “if they would do something” correct English?

We were discussing if the following sentence would be proper English: I asked them if they would do me a favour. (A) The meaning is that I am referring to a point in the past where I asked ...
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3answers
6k views

Would be glad to

I was writing an email and faced the following situation: I am coming to Oxford this summer. If you are still around, I would be glad to hang out with you. Now normally we don't construct the ...
2
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1answer
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“If not for you” meaning

Today I have encountered a phrase: If not for you, I would be poor. I would think it is like "if there were not you", is it like that? On the other hand, how would I say the following as the ...
3
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2answers
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Usage of “would have been”

In the movie "A Walk to remember" Jimmie's father says the following to his son-in-law who got into medical school. Actually Jimmie is dead when he says, We are proud of you, son. Jimmie would ...
3
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3answers
682 views

3rd conditional plus 2nd conditional?

"If you had seen him as a child, you would agree that he is extraordinary." In this sentence, changing the past perfect to simple past strikes me as wrong, and changing the "would agree" to "would ...
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2answers
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Using 'would' to talk about past with examples

The following are sentences, I would take the dogs out on a walk. I would have took the dogs out on a walk. I would took the dogs out on a walk. I understood them as follows: Possible action to ...
2
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0answers
89 views

if or should to ask possibility? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: A special use of “should”? I have received an email which was starting wih this: Should you have any questions, please call at this number... So could ...
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5answers
267 views

“I was going to be called Kate if I was a girl”

This is an excerpt from a grammar book by Longman. It was discussing tense and time distinctions and the excerpt is about future time. As you can see in the next example, the reference can be to a ...
4
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1answer
381 views

Trouble with second conditionals (with “could”)

I would do B if you could do A. This is a statement which has been bothering me for quite a while. I come across such statements often and, to me, they make no sense. Could is the subjunctive of ...
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2answers
747 views

would have and would in non conditional statements

Can we use both would have and would in non conditional past statements? For example: Last year during the summer, I would go home on weekends. past habitual Last year during the summer, I ...
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3answers
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past perfect + would have + ed-participle / past simple + would + infinitive

Could you clarify difference between sentences: If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses If I asked people what they wanted, they would say faster horses ...
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1answer
509 views

Meaning of sentence with 'would'

The sentence is: What would the people eat? Can it mean "What are the people going to eat?" in future Or, "What were the people going to eat?" talking about future from past Or, both?
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4answers
768 views

What to use for hypothetically completed future actions

I was talking to a friend where I had to make a hypothetical statement about an activity that was completed in the future. So I came up with the following statements. If he continued college, he ...
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1answer
319 views

Can Present Perfect be used for Past Conditional

Does present perfect in conditional only mean future situations? Can it be used for hypothetical future? When I went to Africa, I thought as if I have already been there. If you have studied, ...
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1answer
868 views

Subjunctive mood: 'was' usage after 'I wish' and 'if only'

SFX Magazine had declared the sentence below as follow: 1) STAR TURN, 2) BEST LINES. I wish Bernard Cribbins was my grandad. Perhaps he would be willing to adopt? Rattigan: “If only that ...
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1answer
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'Would' and 'might': differences and usage

Let us suppose that a hurricane is expected tomorrow in the place you are visiting. Would it be better that you say either "I think it would be better to leave early." or "I think it might be better ...
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4answers
249 views

Expressing rumour with the conditional

Is it grammatically correct to report a rumour using the conditional ('would be', 'would have') to express the simple present ('is', 'has')? Supposing that the story is not a confirmed fact regarding ...
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1answer
644 views

Third conditional would have and would

I read the following on a website and I was wondering if it was okay? Because the books only talk about the standard three forms. What would it mean if we changed the second part of the statement to ...
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3answers
416 views

Is this hypothetical (if-clause) question grammatically correct?

I came across the following question at a chat room: If I were an admin responsible for the security of an organization's network who were using X products in their network, how would I know ...
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2answers
1k views

Correct tense form after “if”

Let's say I use a misunderstood word in direct speech. After that, which is correct to use from the following? I can explain, if you don't catch the meaning. I can explain, if you haven't caught the ...
3
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3answers
13k views

“If I go..” vs. “If I will go..” referring to the future [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Future tense in conditional clauses Which one is correct? option 1: If I go there, I can meet her or option 2: If I will go there, I can meet her I clearly ...
0
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3answers
447 views

Tense for second sentence in conditional statements

I run into the following sitatution: If he had bothered Mike, he would have bothered him back so much that he would have forgotten about bothering anyone in his life again. Is 'would have' the ...
2
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3answers
2k views

The third conditional for “if I could”

What is the third conditional for "if I could"? For example, we say: If I had studied hard, I would have passed the exam. How about this: If I could study, I would have passed the exam.[Is ...
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4answers
19k views

If conditional “didn't” vs “hadn't”

Grammar rules say that hadn't is used for unreal past conditions, but why can't we use simple past negation instead of past perfect? If I hadn't come to the meeting, it wouldn't have happened. ...
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1answer
3k views

“If something were” or “If something was” in the 2nd conditional? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which is correct: “what if there was” or “what if there were”? Correct usage of was/were on the object of a sentence “Was” or ...
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3answers
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Conditional + Let you know

The context is that a group of us asked a friend to come and have a breakfast, instead of study for a test (bad influence, I know). Initially she said she wouldn't come, but after some badgering on ...
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1answer
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Usage of 'if' and 'if not' to mean 'and perhaps even/also'

Consider the sentence: While this assumption, on its own, is relatively innocuous, if implausible, in practice, it is supplemented by assumptions... The 'if' here really means something more ...
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2answers
888 views

“If we were going outside” in polite requests [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Was” or “were” in subjunctive clauses Can we use "if you were going outside, please let me know" or "I was wondering if you were going outside" ...
11
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5answers
9k views

Future tense in conditional clauses

All the textbooks I have ever come across during the course of my studying English emphasize that future tense should not be used in conditional clauses. For example, If it rains in the evening, ...
3
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1answer
86k views

“have been” versus “had been” in questions [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do the tenses in English correspond temporally to one another? "I can tell that he's not English, but I wouldn't had been able to tell that he's french if you didn't ...
2
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3answers
2k views

Would vs Will in future events

What is the difference between the following: Sorry, mate. I wouldn't be able to come for dinner. Sorry, mate. I won't be able to come for dinner.
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3answers
3k views

Is “even if…” followed by present or future tense? [duplicate]

Is it correct to say: even if only James Bond will benefit from... or even if only James Bond benefits from...
3
votes
4answers
702 views

Past conditional statements

What is the difference between the following two statements? If I went home for dinner, I took a glass of soft drink. If I went home for dinner, I would take a glass of soft drink. Are both ...
4
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3answers
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What's an example of good style for an “if/then” statement?

I'm not sure what's common for conditional statements, with and without alternative consequent clauses, in speech—even my own—but as a computer programmer, I'm niggled whenever I have to write English ...
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votes
5answers
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'became' vs. 'become'

The following two sentences seem to have the same general meaning to me: If I ever became a musician, I would grow my hair If I ever become a musician, I will grow my hair I was wondering ...
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2answers
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Must conditional sentences begin with “if?”

I've been looking at conditional sentences (conditional clauses). Every example I've see is along the lines of, "if [x] then [y]." I've seen alternatives/substitutes for the if part: were I ...
6
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5answers
989 views

Is it correct to say: “I would do something, be it me”?

I mean that "I would do something, if it only were me. But it was not me, so I've done nothing".
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5answers
4k views

“If I knew you're coming I wouldn't have come”

Is the statement If I knew you're coming I wouldn't have come correct? Should we use If I had known you're coming, I wouldn't have come instead? Please consider American-British ...
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votes
5answers
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What's the tense for repetitive past action?

In English, "would" usually denotes a conditional voice. "If I were sleepy, I would go to bed." But I've caught myself using it to denote repetitive or habitual past action. "On Thursdays, we would ...
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votes
2answers
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Using “if” or not in a sentence structure when expressing doubt

I use the following sentence construction a lot. I'm not sure if this is right. I was not aware of any problem until recently I noticed that quite a few of my colleagues used it a little ...
4
votes
2answers
533 views

Conditionals in the future

My colleague and I have a hot discussion about which is correct. My version is: If you don't fix the bug I will send you a patch. and his one is: I would send you a patch if you don't fix ...
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2answers
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Usage of “will” and “would”

Which one is correct? What would I do without you. What will I do without you. You would always be my favorite travel buddy. You will always be my favorite travel buddy.
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1answer
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Past/Present tense in a conditional statement

I'm not an English speaker. Even though I do understand conditional statements that are written by others but when it comes to my turn I still feel confused and don't really know how to organize it. ...
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3answers
2k views

in case I won't *

A very quick question: Is it correct to say "In case I won't be able to watch that"? If it's acceptable to say that, what type of sentence is it? UPDATE: As a clarification, I want to say "Can ...
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1answer
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Rule for when to use “could” as a helper?

It would be helpful if you could provide us further details. Is the use of could wrong here? Should it be It would be helpful if you provide us further details. What is the rule when should ...
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13answers
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Why do I instinctively want to use the present tense with a conditional?

My boss is not a native speaker of English, so he often asks me to correct his writing. The problem is, he wants me to explain why I make changes, and doesn't accept "it just sounds better that way" ...
6
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2answers
1k views

Use of “should have” in conditional sentences

In Return of the Soldier (1918) I came across what appears to be a conditional sentence: I never should have got this telegram if me and my husband hadn't been down there last September and told ...
0
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1answer
1k views

“If he is polite, then he gets the job”, or “if he be polite, then he gets the job”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use the subjunctive mood? Which sentence is grammatically correct? Which sentence make sense (apart from syntactical analysis)? First? Second? Both of ...
6
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2answers
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“I would have never said” vs. “I would never say”

I know a lot of questions have been asked about would or would have but I haven't found any answers that help me understand this three-party conversation, with C possibly a native speaker: A: How ...
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3answers
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'Provided that' followed by two conditions

In a sentence where 'provided that' is followed by two conditions, is a second instance of 'that' required, optional or wrong? 1: [statement A], provided that [statement B] and [statement C] ...